Realigning Jackson at 32nd St. named a priority
January 08, 2005
A public meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 19, to answer questions regarding the realignment of Jackson St. and McIntosh Circle in Joplin. The meeting which will follow an open house format will take place in the civil defense dining room in the basement of the Joplin Municipal Building, 303 E. Third St. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Ranked number two in priority by the Transportation Task Force Committee headed by Chuck Brown, a former city attorney, the project will be funded by the 3/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax approved by voters in August 2004. According to Russell Spruill, a civil engineer in the City of Joplin's Public Works Department, the realignment project, with a base price tag of approximately $1 million, was chosen from among 40-50 projects presented to the special committee. Funding the yearly selection of street overlays was considered top priority.

A conceptual design completed by the Division of Engineering under the direction of David Hertzberg shows the abandonment of parts of Jackson St. and McIntosh Circle south of 32nd St. and the creation of a new section which would be three lanes. It would link up with the section of Jackson just north of 32nd Street. A traffic signal on 32nd St. is proposed for the newly aligned intersection.

Part of the project requires purchasing additional right of way along 32nd St. in order to create a left-hand turning lane. "This might mean purchasing the properties on either side of Jackson south of 32nd St.," Spruill noted. He called attention to the need for an additional 50 running feet along 32nd St for the current proposal.

Other properties under consideration for removal are those that line the western side of Jackson St. just north of the proposed new section of that street. While there would be no effect to the medical buildings on the proposed abandoned section of McIntosh Circle, the road itself might possibly be vacated allowing annexation of land to the existing adjacent properties.

Spruill said that a newly installed traffic light at the realigned Jackson and 32nd St. might help alleviate traffic congestion that piles up at and beyond the Main St. intersection, but that dealing with the situation at Main St. will be an entirely different matter requiring a partnership with the State of Missouri and additional funding.

Spruill stressed that the Jackson and McIntosh Realignment at 32nd St. project was simply in a preliminary stage. "Nothing is final. We want to hear comments. We will listen," Spruill said.

The City of Joplin is presenting to the public its concept of re-aligning Jackson St. (designated Jackson Ave. on the plan) south of 32nd St. with Jackson St. on the north. A new portion of Jackson St. will be constructed across currently treed property and link up with a new section of McIntosh Circle that will run behind the medical building located on the corner of (old) McIntosh Circle and 32nd St. The new section of McIntosh Circle would then cross 32nd St. and line up with Jackson St. on the north. The circle designates the new intersection where a traffic light would be installed. It does appear that the new portion of Jackson could be constructed on its own without connecting to a realignment of McIntosh Circle, but the engineers in the project wanted to eliminate the hazardous intersection of the pre-existing McIntosh Circle and 32nd St. where poor visibility and periodic heavy traffic makes a left turn dangerous. There would be no access to 32nd St. from the vacated portions of McIntosh Circle and Jackson St. Public comments will be considered in drawing up final plans.

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